Heading Home

DSC_0449DSC_0161Before we begin, here is the other half of our house for the next little while. With help from friends and family, we lay a slab and built this little baby over a weekend. Creation can be as easy as putting your mind and energy into a project and trusting in the outcome! (fingers crossed she’s waterproof ;))

Five Nights at Five Rocks

What an event to welcome us into this next chapter of life… Dad had the ingenious idea to entirely book out the campgrounds at five rocks for five nights to celebrate his 60th birthday. Filled with extended family and friends from the Byfield community and beyond, we settled in for a fantastic chunk of quality time together. I’d never spent time at this special beach and it was a welcomed treat to discover its beauty.DSC_0217DSC_0220DSC_0226DSC_0237DSC_0245DSC_0249FotorCreatedDSC_0253DSC_0258DSC_0265The invitation called for each of us to bring something to the table to share with the group. Most of the meals were catered for with a planned menu: a variety of delicious foods from fish curry to rice paper rolls, an endless feast. Guinness and red wine were provided, and we all enjoyed getting merry around the fire in the evenings. We even had the old gas stove/oven up there in the camp kitchen, for the luxury of freshly baked bread… and great ease (minus the transport of course). I jumped on the opportunity to bake a birthday cake and tried a new recipe for a beetroot, quinoa and chocolate cake that a beautiful friend had raved about. I made a simple sweet ginger yoghurt icing, it was delicious. Here’s a link to the recipe, in case you want to try it yourself: http://www.theholisticingredient.com/blogs/wholesome-food/10218301-beetroot-quinoa-and-chocolate-muffinscookDSC_0273Leo contributed the decks, speakers, and set up the DJ booth. He played a brilliant techno set one afternoon that carried the space perfectly. Leo, Andy, Jas, James, Dad and Luke spoiled us with a soundtrack to match our long weekend and dance music to keep us grooving. Jas brought his fire stick, which was well utilised and lit the dark sky with ever changing art. He encouraged any of the kids who were keen to have a go, and was patient and clear with his instruction. I admired him in this situation and his carefree yet careful approach.  April and I had a brilliant time dancing with our hoops and I was grateful for the practise time; this inspired the Hula Hoop making workshop we will run together at Tropical Bloom this year.DSC_0339DSC_0331DSC_0346Andy made Damper with the kids and baked it in the camp oven in the remaining coals of the nights fire. Linda brought a stack of white t-shirts for natural dyeing, we used turmeric and red bloodwood sap and they came out in rich warm yellows and reds. Over the weekend we each made additions to a canvas that Ela had left us, it soon became a beautiful colourful mandala.DSC_0343DSC_0267DSC_0338DSC_0268DSC_0302FotorCcolourreatedBy Saturday afternoon this new way of life had soaked into all of us, complete freedom, living in paradise. Dad had set a bar for himself from the beginning; no less then two swims a day, I happily followed suit and enjoyed the high and the low of each day. Mornings began with group swims and beach hangs, and we all relished in the fresh water creek shower on the path back to camp. Cat and I had a beautiful swim with Indira as the tide was coming in. She bravely ran along the bottom of the sand with water up to her chin, back and forth giggling and spluttering. All three of us were in stitches laughing for ages. Indira just couldn’t get enough of it, absolutely filled with the thrill and excitement.DSC_0283waterrDSC_0281The low tides meant we could climb out to the five rocks to fish, and after Andy brought back a beautiful mackerel one evening the enthusiasm in the group rose. The following day a group of us went to the rocks on sunset with a bunch of fishing rods and an esky filled with beer. Luke caught his first fish and the rock cods were out and about in numbers, unfortunately none were big enough for dinner but it was well worth the adventure.DSC_0374DSC_0376DSC_0383DSC_0389DSC_0396DSC_0399Returning back to camp was always a lovely sight, a circle of camp chairs around the fire offered space and comfort for the down time. Crafts were abundant and it was inspiring to see the women at work; Joan made a wonderful little basket using natural materials she had found at the beach. Trisha made a gorgeous necklace using beads that she crafted from pumice and pink flowers. April was working on a knotted patterned bag as well as her felt slippers, and Sparkle was drawing away.daddyDSC_0336Mum arrived in high spirits with fruitcake in hand, and melted straight into the abundance of activities. She carved an underwater scene into a cuttle fish shell, and before long was brainstorming with the kids about ‘The BEST school ever!’ It was amazing to see the passion filling each of them as they tore the schooling system apart and rebuilt it in their own ideal way. This ongoing discussion also inspired a workshop at Tropical Bloom.

Note: Tropical Bloom Festival is now in its third year and will be a treat for the senses, it has been a delight to be a part of, creating and enjoying this incredibly inspiring space. Leo, with an enthusiastic team of volunteers will come together to create his vision for a Culture, Arts and Music festival. The healing area will be in full power with a huge array of different workshops from yoga to making your own herbal skin products. Cat has been busy getting the timetable organised, along with the market holders who will bring their handicrafts to sell. The weekend will be jam-packed with 24 hour music, kids activities, great food and chai, art installations & gallery, performances and so many more surprises… One not to miss! Find details here: http://www.tropicalbloom.net/

DSC_0355DSC_0359Lindsay and Connor took the gang over the hill to Three Rivers a few days in a row, to swim and surf and explore the neighbouring beaches. On his birthday, Dad drew an enormous mandala in the sand and the crew collected seaweed, shells, pumice and rocks to decorate the massive art piece.DSC_0348DSC_0350DSC_0366DSC_0362DSC_0360The time away was filled with smiles and laughter, co-operation and co-ordination, continuous adventure and living purely in the moment. I didn’t even find time to read, there was too much fun going on. It was a taste of a simple life away from the ‘real world’. Immersed in the love of community, sharing skills and quality time. In many ways I think it was exactly what Dad had wanted, yet a lot more rich and full then any of us could have imagined.DSC_0408DSC_0420crDSC_0433DSC_0442DSC_0447

Itchy Feet

Our feet were itchy and plans were in motion. Eagerness settled in the idea of travelling the world in one big hit…

I was raised by world travellers and as a child adored hearing the ‘when I was young’ stories that led my imagination around the globe. From every day life, growing up in Papua New Guinea in the 60’s & 70’s to European adventures in matching dresses. Stories of the life as a teenager during the upheaval in the north of Ireland in the 70’s to trekking and camping in the Himalayas with monkeys and tigers as a free adult. Naturally I was enthusiastic to step out of my comfort zone and into the unknown world of travel as soon as I could.

DSC_0289The Northern Territory was all in all a welcomed surprise. Andy and I went to visit his rents last May and our four days and nights offered exemplary insight into the multiculturalism of Darwin. An amazing event at the Entertainment Centre showcased a selection of Aboriginal singers and songwriters, who each added their own individual flair to this wonderful show.

Mornings spent wandering around the markets, with smells that transport you straight to Asia. With an extensive array of tropical fruits and exotic plant food I was thrilled with the choice. This city felt refreshing to all the senses.

Kakadu National Park was the true game changer. We visited culturally sacred land formations, with ancient Aboriginal art spread generously across the cave and rock walls. I took it all in with awe, and it humbled me as I began to imagine these people who lived on and with the land for eons.

DSC_0333DSC_0296DSC_0323DSC_0540DSC_0545Heartbeats quickened as we clambered excitedly up the bright orange rock stairs. We sat on the top of the rock formation with a 360 view of untouched foreign wilderness and wetlands, Australia suddenly felt unknown and enticing. Previous plans blew away with the strong cool winds, and the land invoked new dreams of adventure in our hearts.DSC_0579DSC_0576

An extreme abundance of wildlife live along the edge of Yellow Waters, and riding along the waterways by boat allowed us to experience this beautiful natural habitat that is home to many.

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Within one weekend I had begun to feel more connected with the original custodians of this land then ever before. This lit a fire in my heart, a readiness to see more of the country I call home, with hopes to learn from the Aboriginal people and experience more authentic Australian culture.

On returning home, savings moved from the ’round the world ticket’ account, and into the ‘lets buy a van’ account. Soon enough we met Nessy, and drove her home…

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Life at the Dairy

‘The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.’

~Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993

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It was a true gift from the Universe to find home in paradise after three months of backpacking through Thailand, Cambodia and New Zealand. A gorgeous book called ‘Praise to the moon’ written by Ellen Hawke called out to me from a retro second hand bookstore in Nelson, NZ. This book introduced me to the magic of manifestation.

We landed back on familiar soil, and eight weeks later we finally unpacked both cars-that had been filled like a game of Tetris prior to the big adventure overseas.

Life at Eden Creek was bliss indeed, exploring the creek in search of waterfalls and crystals, endless knot-tying sessions, creative photography, reading, loving and being…

A whirlwind of events since meeting just more then a year earlier, and timing felt right for Andy and I to leap into sharing our first home together in the Northern Rivers.

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We took Ellen Hawke’s advice and began our ceremony at dusk when Luna was a thin silver sliver in the sky. Each with a handful of seeds, we set intentions as we planted each grain of life into rich humus, wishing for the home we had been dreaming of. Pumpkin for Privacy, Tomato for two rooms, Parsley for price range, Cucumbers – composting loo, Beans – bathtub, Lettuce – land, Sunflowers – sunshine…really feeling into the energy of a nourishing space to call home.

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An image held of these little seedlings being planted in our future garden, and a flyer was printed-spread from Bexhill to Main arm and everywhere in between. Two months later on the full moon we met with our landlords who had found us on the notice board down at Federal general store-two weeks after that we had arrived home.

At this point, after a long time my heart remembered what home feels like.

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It has been nothing short of pure connectedness and gratitude in the last year of living here on this wonderful land. I trust we were always meant to arrive here. An ever-evolving experience unfolded, of nurturing, understanding self, growth and the magic of nature.

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This family of Tawny Frogmouth birds taught me so much in their presence. A journey through the seasons together, only to surrender to the power of nature in all its wonderful forms.. and the cycles of life, death and rebirth.

Settling into the routine of farm life has been humbling and reminds me that nature is alive and buzzing, even if at first I expected stillness and quiet. 78 acres, certified organic, and 800 lemon trees that I have gotten to know quite well. Mulching and weeding when we first arrived had us working physically as hard as we ever have-carting mountains of heavy water-drenched cardboard up the steep incline of the rolling green orchard. I picked from April, 11kg-70kg a week throughout the sporadic season thus far. It has been extremely satisfying and rewarding work, truly filled with the essence of abundance at peak of season. Feeling grateful to have been gifted this experience.

Fabian and Jack, the resident horses have helped me to surrender a fear that was no longer useful. It has transformed into complete admiration for the power and strength this animal’s energy holds. Trust in presence is key-as when fear and adrenalin kick in, they can manifest as a quick reality change, providing a sharp lesson.DSC_0357IMG_1905DSC_0372A real taste of farm life: keeping an eye out for all of the animals, two horses, two steers, three cows, four chooks, a baby chick and countless wildlife. I always appreciated the responsibility of checking water and health of these beautiful beings, as it encourages me to be outside and create  relationships with these animals.

It is always a pleasant surprise to have an encounter with a wild creature also. Recent visits from Python and Tree snake have been fulfilling in every way…erasing expected fear and allowing room to sense the mysterious wisdom that their existence holds.animaliaThank you Universe, Thank you Luna, Thank you beautiful land for welcoming us to live alongside your current of life force energy in complete synergy. Thank you sunshine, Thank you stormy evenings and endless rain. Gratitude for the rainbows, the clouds, the starry nights. Gratitude for the creative inspiration that has birthed life in this sacred space. The quiet times, the dinner parties, the ceremony.. The room to discover what is true in ourselves, and the opportunity to really ground deeply into this Earth we call home.

~ An honouring of this wonderful time spent has been calling… as soon it will all change.

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